Narrator: Susan Boyce
Series: Scottish Bookshop Mystery #7
Published by Tantor Audio on April 5, 2022
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Length: 8 hrs 6 mins
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Delaney Nichols faces off against an elusive arsonist in the seventh Scottish Bookshop Mystery, The Burning Pages, from beloved author Paige Shelton....
One winter's night, bookseller Delaney Nichols and her coworker Hamlet are invited to a Burns Night dinner, a traditional Scottish celebration of the poet Robert Burns. She's perplexed by the invitation, but intrigued. The dinner takes place at Burns House itself, a tiny cottage not far from the Cracked Spine bookshop but well hidden. There, it becomes clear that Delaney and Hamlet were summoned in an attempt to make amends between Edwin, Delaney's boss, and one of the other invitees, who suspected Edwin for burning down his own bookshop twenty years ago after a professional disagreement.
But after the dinner, there’s another fire. The Burns House itself is burned to the ground, and this time there’s a body among the ruins. When Hamlet is accused of the crime, Delaney rushes to prove his innocence, only to discover that he might actually have a plausible motive...
The Burning Pages is the 7th in the Scottish Bookshop series and I think you need to have read at least a few of the others to really enjoy this one. It relies a lot on you caring about the characters and having a feel for the backstories. Yes, everyone is introduced and explanations given, but it’s not the same as growing to know them from the first book.
As you read in the blurb above, Hamlet is the prime suspect in a murder case, so of course, Delaney is determined to prove he didn’t do it, a task made more difficult when Hamlet disappears.
As always, I liked Delaney. She’s caring and loyal and usually has at least a decent reason to be investigating. She also has a good relationship with Inspector Winters and shares information better than a lot of amateur detectives. Her friends and coworkers are the requisite quirky, protective bunch.
The plot of the book flows well and does a good job at keeping Robert Burns front and center. There are several twists and turns and a couple of red herrings, but it’s not my favorite of the series. It centers too much on family trauma and undiagnosed mental health issues for my liking.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: